A woman who wants sex, effective sex that delivers on all the errands it was sent, has no business marrying a man with low sex drive. A woman who wants sex 20 times a month should not be in a relationship with a man who thinks women who want sex more than once a week are nymphomaniacs. Yeah, there are men like that. They lift their wives’ wrappers either only to make babies or when the woman has asked and asked and has begun to mumble sentences like:
‘If you are having problems getting it up, you should speak up so I know how to help you instead of punishing me like this.’
When a woman starts cobbling such sentences together, even under her breath, the man knows that he is in trouble and that he needs to seek and get help before his wife moves from mumbling her dissatisfaction to hissing loudly her frustration.
Now, this is not a piece about men with low libido. It is actually about mature, single women finding love or marriage again. The stories I have heard about some second chances are, to put it mildly, embarrassing. Of course, I have heard beautiful second chance stories too. The kind that are so romantically inspiring that you want to make a movie from them. Some second-chance marriages are so cute they bring tears to your eyes, encouraging you to encourage other mature singles to give marriage another thought.
There is a current sad story doing the rounds. It is irking and demeaning. Both the man and the woman are telling colourful stories people of their age shouldn’t be caught telling. They are releasing deep, embarrassing secrets on social media, social media that does not forget! The woman is living her pain in the open. The man is making revelations that no real man should and threatening to provide more materials for the woman to make more episodes from. I’m gritting my teeth and wondering when the shameful and shameless exposition will end. Each time someone, in the last one week, made reference to this couple’s dirty-linen-war, I cringed. I’m disappointed but I’m not judging them. I’m doing this piece because I think there are a few lessons for everyone in the bad movie that came from a marriage that lasted only three months. I am still wondering how a 90-day marriage could produce so much bad-blood.
I will not mention their names here because I do not want to join the clan of those platforms that have been feeding fat on the unfortunate story. Like I said, this is for the mature, single (MS) women who may be thinking of finding love again or even trying for an ‘evening time marriage.’ There are deep questions every MS must ask herself and go ahead and provide answers to. Let’s look at some of them.
Why do you want to get married again? Is it marriage you want or a solid relationship with a solid man where mutual respect and companionship are guaranteed? If you have been married before, did you long for days gone or you want another chance to experience a really ‘good’ marriage? Have your children grown and left the nest?
When you have found answers to those questions truthfully, ensure your next steps are guided, cautious. Keep the following in mind before you commit your heart to any deep relationship.
1. Don’t get in there if you are sexually incompatible. If you are still very sexually active and you are considering a long-term relationship or marriage, do not go for a much older man. If he’s rich but 75, chances that he gets regular ‘morning glory’ are slim. If in the few months you’ve been together, you have had to pull and push his engine before you could get a little roar, don’t expect any miraculous difference after you exchange vows. ‘I do’ doesn’t increase anybody’s libido. A man who cannot get it up more than once a month will be a challenge. If you have to pull his cable as often as you pull an I-pass-my-neighbour generator, ‘pressure go dey’. Whether in marriage of the young or on the second missionary journey, sex plays a key role in keeping a marriage vibrant and healthy. That’s the reality. For couples who steadily ‘used each other’ for 45 years and are now in their 70s, it is different. But a 45-year old widow expecting her 75-year-old boo to constantly and consistently fit his piston in her rings is daydreaming.
2. Only dumb brides pay their own dowries. Yes, we know that you are more than financially comfortable. You drive great cars and live in a four-star neighbourhood. Your business is doing well but does that mean you should buy a husband and still pay your own bride price? Didn’t your mother tell you that the man you buy, feed and fund won’t be a real husband? The way the world is today, with many women doing what men can do and living larger than the men, even conservative me knows that rich mature single girls will have a hard time finding men they can look up to, if you get my drift. I mean, these highflying girls are already playing in the same leagues with the big boys. The big boys already have official and unofficial wives. The only available men are a few floors downstairs. Many mature single girls who want to marry sometimes even for the first time have had to ‘upgrade’ their men, help them up a little. But I draw the line where a MS woman has to foot the wedding bill, buy everything on the engagement or traditional wedding list, pay for the wedding rings and her groom’s outfits. Sister, we know you want to be known and addressed as Mrs Somebody by Christmas but desperation always gives off a bad odour. Do not pay your own bride price. A man who lets you do all that heavy-lifting is not a he-man even if the sex is out-of-this-world. He knows you need him more than he needs you. His parents, siblings and friends do not think you are picking all the bills because you love him, even if you genuinely do. Spending N100m to stage a wedding ceremony is nothing to be proud of or brag about. All it says is you were desperate and you acted out your desperation. Period.
3. If a man is going to turn out to be a bad husband, women, let’s be frank, we usually get a whiff of his badness during courtship. The choice to ignore the warning signals or foolishly think a man will change after the wedding reception is absolutely the bride’s, one she must live with instead of boring or afflicting us with the consequences when they show up. If he has slapped you a couple of times and then apologized, he will slap you again or do something even worse, like removing your front teeth. If you have overheard him discussing how hot you are in bed with his friends, his circle of friends and respect for you won’t improve just because you footed the wedding bill.
4. The temptation to tilt towards desperation when lonely and alone increases as we get older because God did not create us to be alone. The desire for companionship is a natural one and that need increases as the nest empties, for those who are single parents or as the biological clock winds down after ticking loudly for years. Every man, every woman needs someone to lean on, someone to gist with, someone to watch the sun rise and set with. Every woman needs someone to play Ludo with and that need and search for a playmate leaves a woman very vulnerable, more vulnerable than men. Yes. The society in which we live in does not ease off in its judgment of women whether we are 16 or 60. You don’t agree with me? Well, tell me how the society reacts to a 60-year-ol woman remarrying compared to a 70-year-old man marrying for the third time and I mean as a serial monogamist.
Women are expected to exercise control. The men are allowed to pick and drop, test-run as many women as they want. A 60-year-old man dancing in a night club is ‘just hanging out with the boys’ but a 50-year-old lonely woman doing the same is a slut, an irresponsible shame to womanhood. Painfully annoying but that is the way our world works, for now.
Where does that leave the mature, single woman? On her own. That, my sisters, is the verdict. You are on your own, which means you must look out for yourself, protect yourself, put yourself first and bind all demons of desperation. Do not let any man treat you like you need him more than he needs you. Do not let any man use you if you can’t use him. If he won’t add value to your life, let him go somewhere else with his valueless self. If he won’t take away your loneliness, he’s useless. If he’s going to treat you like an ATM, tell him to check the next shop because you ain’t open for that kind of business. Whatever you do, don’t let any man, any relationship take away your dignity. It’s your life, do only what you’ll look back and be happy about.
Egbemode ([email protected]) is a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).